Golf may be the great equalizer. When it comes to providing golf instruction, lessons, guidelines, or tips, the game is pretty much the same for men and women. There may be some subtle differences — just like there are subtle differences between different men — but in general, golf tips for women are tips for playing golf.
“Golfers are golfers, whether they are men, women, or juniors,” says Chris Foley of Cragun’s Legacy Courses in Brainerd, who owns and operates Chris Foley Golf Schools.
Go surfing around the internet, and you can find some sites where there are some golf tips designed specifically for women. But we asked Foley his thoughts on the subject.
“The one thing that I do tell ladies a lot, especially if they are new players, is that if they can become reasonably proficient with four golf clubs, they are going to play very good golf,” he says. “Those four clubs would be a club off the tee — a driving club — whether that’s a driver or a three wood. And then a fairway wood or hybrid, a wedge, and a putter.”
While Foley isn’t recommending that anyone reduce the number of clubs in their bag from 14 to four, he is saying that a player should work to become better at four clubs that you use to cover a lot of situations encountered on the course.
“Typically, you use a driver on a minimum of 14 holes in a round,” Foley said. “Then, many times for the second shot for a newer player, they are at a distance where they can’t get it to the green yet, so they need to hit their longest possible club for their next shot. If they hit a good shot, generally they’re ending up in that range (probably inside 50 or 60 yards) where they have a wedge in their hand to hit it on the green. And then they are putting.”
“So, if they can become reasonably competent in those golf clubs, they are going to play very good golf. They should be able to shoot 90 to a hundred or low 100s. For all new players, that’s a good way to approach and look at the game.”
Tips for Distance
There may be some female golfers who are looking to gain more distance, and Foley said the answer lies in creating more club head speed.
“Distance is directly related to club head speed,” Foley says. “So if they have a hard time generating club head speed, they are going to have a hard time with distance.”
Foley says there is a difference in the swing between swing speed and the force of the swing. Force of the swing relates more to getting the power of the body into the swing, but the faster you can swing your arms, the more club head speed you’re going to have.
“A good way to learn to create speed is to take a driver and turn it over so you are gripping on the end where the head is,” he says. “And hold the club a foot off the ground and try to swing it as fast as you can. When you are swinging that end of the club, it will make a lot more sound than when you are using the correct end of the club. So the more noise you make, the faster you are swinging the club. That’s a drill to learn to create speed.”
Foley’s tips for putting are the same for women as anyone else: distance control.
“The better we can become at distance control, we are going to have fewer three putts, and we are going to make more putts,” he says.
“Making putts is a combination of matching up speed and break. If you can match the speed to the speed to the slope, and put a good stroke on it, you are going to make a lot of putts.”
What is the biggest key for women to get better at the game?
“It’s a combination of hitting the golf ball well off the tee and then chipping and pitching the ball well,” Foley says.
Sounds familiar. That’s exactly what the guys need to do.